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Dream Home Must-Haves from a Pro Organizer

Building a home from the ground-up is a dream come true. It’s also a major investment, so you want to leave no stone unturned. While many who build homes consult with architects and designers, very few consult with professional organizers. Most people move into their dream home and find that a few key elements were overlooked. I’ve seen firsthand how frustrating this is for my clients who spent so much money (and so much time!) designing their dream home only to realize that some game-changing features were left out.

I don’t want this to happen to you. Here are all the dream home must-haves from a professional organizer. 


Kitchen Must-Haves

You likely already planned for a walk-in pantry and many designers think it will be helpful to make the shelves as deep as possible.  But beware! It will be hard to reach and see what you need if the shelves are too deep, and you’ll end up with a messy space and lots of wasted food. Going any deeper than 20 inches and you’re approaching the trouble zone.

Planning for adequate storage for spices and oils near the stove is another must. When it comes to your kitchen drawers, consider having your kitchen company include built-in drawer dividers for utensils and cookware. Don’t forget about dividers for cutting boards and baking sheets while you’re at it. Extra deep drawers are great for storing pots and pans.

Think about outlets!  Make sure not to overlook including an outlet in your pantry and breakfast bar.  But also, a hidden charging station in a kitchen drawer can be the perfect place to store small electronics that need to be charged (e.g. phones, tablets, etc.) and keep them off the counters.

Mudroom Must-Haves

A mudroom with cubbies for each member of the family (plus a guest) is a great perk. But it’s even better if there is also a closet in the mudroom to keep off-season coats and accessories. No matter how many cubbies or how big the space, my clients always agree that an additional closet would have been a game-changer. It looks much tidier and is an easy way to keep seasonal items separated.

Let’s talk laundry.  Of course an upstairs laundry room is a must-have. But having additional laundry in the mudroom is an added luxury and can be great for families who spend a ton of time doing outdoor/or messy sports and activities (and those of us with messy pets).

Also, don’t overlook shoe storage. Make space for more than you think you’ll use. And, remember that rain and snow boots can be tall so you need to accommodate their height.

Bedroom Closet Must-Haves

If I know you, you’ve already mapped out the walk-in closet in the main bedroom, preferably with a section for each person who will be in that space. As you’re designing your closet, take into account how many shoes and handbags you have, how many clothes you like to hang, and what you prefer to have in drawers versus on shelves. Don’t follow convention here; instead, go with what suits your unique needs. The world is your oyster, so design a closet that will accommodate your actual belongings.  

Do you or your partner have a ton of baseball caps? Consider creating a baseball cap wall where they can all be displayed. Do you love wearing belts? Make sure you have enough pull-outs to hang them each separately. You get the idea. Don’t be confined by what you see on Pinterest and Instagram.



Linen Closet Must-Haves

Of course you know you need a linen closet, but I recommend putting a linen closet in each bathroom, in addition to a general hallway linen closet. Fill each bathroom linen closet with one extra set of towels and one extra set of  bed linens associated with the bedrooms of those who use that bathroom. These closets are also a great place to store medicine and backstock toiletries. The hall linen closet can then be used to fit any extras in the house, such as beach towels, and extra pillows and blankets.

Cleaning Closet Must-Haves

A dedicated cleaning closet with a plug to keep your vacuum charged is a game changer. If this closet is upstairs, I also recommend carving out a small spot (and placing an outlet in it) for a small handheld vacuum to be plugged in and hidden in or near the kitchen. 

Seasonal Decor Storage

If you are into seasonal decor, having a dedicated closet for these items feels like a luxury worthy of a dream home.

Outlets

We talked about outlets in the kitchen section above, but they warrant their own section. Have your electrician place them in floors where you might want floor lamps or a floating desk (think about how nice it will be to not have a computer cord going across your entire office floor!). 

Luggage Storage

Here’s one you likely haven’t considered: create a dedicated spot for your luggage.  You can keep all duffle bags, tote bags, computer bags and suitcases in one central spot.

 

What does the G+G Community Have to Say?

While all the items listed above are from the expertise of a Pro Organizer, is it really the 21st century if you don’t crowdsource your data? The answer is no, it’s not! So we asked the G+G Community to weigh in on what you wish you had included in your new construction and here is what you said:

Closet Ideas 

  • Make sure to have a dedicated spot for jewelry storage if you have a lot. And design the drawers to be deep enough to accommodate any jewelry boxes you are holding onto.
  • Don’t forget to put outlets in all closets for charging items.


Bathroom Ideas

  • Put outlets inside bathroom drawers so you don’t have to plug/unplug tools (think electric toothbrushes and hair clippers).


Pet Storage Ideas

  • Don’t forget about your furry friends. In your beautiful new home the last thing you’ll want to deal with are pet accessories all over the floor and counters. Create a dedicated spot for cat litter or any other pet items you don’t want out in plain sight.


There you have it, friends. I know that building a new home can be daunting, so I want to bring some of that excitement back to you. With this list in hand, you’re ready for that dream home to become a reality!

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